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Cancer Center Team Members, Partners Recognized

November 26, 2019

Each year, The University of Kansas Cancer Center hosts its Research Symposium, convening experts to collaborate and discuss advances in cancer research. As part of Research Symposium activities, members and partners of the cancer center are recognized for their support of and contributions to cancer research.

2019 Cancer Center Director’s Awards

The Director’s Awards are given annually to cancer center physicians, researchers, staff and others in recognition of their outstanding work and support of the cancer center’s mission. Roy Jensen, MD, director of the cancer center, personally considers and selects recipients for each Director’s Award category. Congratulations to this year’s recipients:

  • Basic Science: Ron Conaway, PhD, and Joan Conaway, PhD, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
  • Civic Leadership & Philanthropy: Mary Birch, Chair, KU Cancer Center Cancer Funding Partners Board
  • Clinical Science: Weijing Sun, MD, Director, Medical Oncology
  • Clinical Trial Accrual: Siddhartha Ganguly, MD, FACP, Medical Oncologist
  • Closing Disparities: Megha Ramaswamy, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor
  • Community Clinical Trial Accrual: Benjamin Powers, MD, Medical Oncologist
  • Legislator: United States Senator Jerry Moran
  • Mentoring: Terry Tsue, MD, Physician-in-Chief
  • Staff: Hope Krebill, RN, BSN, MSW, Executive Director, Masonic Cancer Alliance
  • Young Scientist: Bret Freudenthal, PhD, Assistant Professor
  • William Jewell Team Science: Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Joseph McGuirk, DO; Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center, Sunil Abhyankar, MD; Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation, Scott Weir, PharmD, PhD

2019 Pilot and Travel Award Recipients

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2019 Pilot and Travel Awards!

Pilot Project Awards
Pilot project award recipients are recognized for novel research that shows great promise in their field.

  • Richard Yi, “Neurocorrelates of episodic future thinking and its impact on delay discounting by cigarette smokers”
  • Michael VanSaun, “Defining adipose-directed transcriptional rewiring in pancreatic cancer”
  • Jun Zhang, “Microbiome as a predictive ecosystem for immunotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer”
  • Kristi Neufeld, “Generating a mouse to test musashi 1 inhibitors as anti-tumor agents”
  • Shane Stecklein, “Developing patient-derived xenografts of immunotherapy-resistant triple-negative breast cancer”

Travel Awards

Student Awards

  • 1st place (tie): Taybor Parker, “APC-dependent localization of the β-catenin destruction complex during Wnt stimulation”
  • 1st place (tie): Colby Spiess, “Overexpression of the RNA binding protein HuR promotes chemoresistance by stabilizing AKT in colorectal cancer cells”
  • 2nd place (tie): Gabrielle Fangman, “Preclinical evaluation of gilteritinib on NPM1-ALK driven anaplastic large cell lymphoma cells”
  • 2nd place (tie): Camille Trinidad, “Proteomic analysis of small extracellular vesicles derived from ovarian cancer cell lines and ovarian tissue explants”

Postdoc/Trainee Awards

  • 1st place: Thomas Beadnell, “Mitochondrial genetics alter immune regulation of cancer metastasis”
  • 2nd place: Vikalp Vishwarkarma, “Role of RNA Binding Protein HuR in Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) progression”
  • 3rd place: Sharon Manley, “Synthetic adiponectin receptor agonist, AdipoRon, induces metabolic switch in PDAC from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis”

Junior Faculty Awards

  • 1st place: Alejandro Parrales, “Novel compounds showing synthetic lethality with p53 mutations in osteosarcoma cells”
  • 2nd place: Prasad Dandawate, “Prolactin receptor is a molecular therapeutic target of anti-psychotic drugs in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma”
  • 3rd place: Benjamin Woolbright, “Role of MIF signaling pathway in bladder cancer”

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